The American Red Cross is in need of blood and platelet donors to help ease a summer slump in donations. Types O negative, B negative and A negative are in especially short supply.
Kristen Hatfield is a spokeswoman for the American Red Cross. She explains why donors are in short supply.
"Up to 20 percent of our donor base is high school and college students, so when they take that summer break off, we feel they're lost," Hatfield says. "And then we've got our regular donors that are vacationing."
Hatfield says the Red Cross must collect 15,000 blood donations per day to meet the needs of patients across the country. During the peak summer months, the number of donors dip by about two people for every blood drive. That drop leads to shortages.
To help spur donations, the Red Cross is offering a free T-shirt to all blood and platelet donors through July 7. On the American Red Cross’ web site, you can search for blood drives by Zip Code.